Would you join a company just cause they let you blog?

Every once in a while someone comes up to me in the hallways or in a cafeteria here and says "I joined Microsoft because of Channel 9 and your blog."

That really used to freak me out because I didn't think that was a logical reason to join a company. But then I started asking them more about why they say that. Most answer one, or both, of two reasons: 1) The company seemed a lot more fun/interesting or less evil to work at after they watched the videos. 2) They wanted to work someplace where you could talk with customers without worrying too much about "the rules."

Anyway, Dennis Howlett looked into this a bit more and I sent him over to our HR/Recruiting department (which has a couple of good bloggers) to see if they had any "numbers." Dennis linked to the answer. I forgot about this one, but last year more than 3,000 resumes came in through our employee blogs just Gretchen's blog. 137 people were hired this way.

Small numbers, yes, but this is a young trend. What will it look like in 10 years?

Separately I hear that Channel 9 is the #1 most referred to thing by college recruits. I'm trying to get actual numbers on that, if you know, please post them. (Last month we passed three million unique visitors for the first time, yowza!)

Sigh, why didn't I remember these numbers when I was at Amazon last week?

On a similar topic, the Wall Street Journal today printed an article about corporate blogging (that link takes you to Jeffrey Treem's blog, the WSJ article isn't on the Net yet) and included Microsoft in it again. Yet another reason for letting your employees blog: better PR.